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January 9, 2014

Two thirds of personal banking apps vulnerable

About full 90% of the banking apps comprise non-SSL links all through the application.

By CBR Staff Writer

About 40 of the home banking apps from 60 major banks have been found to be vulnerable, a new security report from IOActive revealed.

After testing 40 iPhone and iPad banking apps over a period of 40 man-hours, security consultant Ariel Sanchez revealed that some of the apps reported serious security loopholes.

According to the security report, about full 90% of the apps comprise non-SSL links, which would allow attacker to capture the traffic and insert arbitrary JavaScript/HTML code so as to develop a bogus login prompt or similar scam.

Sanchez said: "Most of the log files generated by the apps, such as crash reports, exposed sensitive information."

"This information could be leaked and help attackers to find and develop 0day exploits with the intention of targeting users of the application," Sanchez added.

"After taking a close look at the file system of each app, some of them used an unencrypted Sqlite database and stored sensitive information, such as details of customer’s banking account and transaction history.

"An attacker could use an exploit to access this data remotely, or if they have physical access to the device, could install jailbreak software in order to steal to the information from the file system of the victim’s device."

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Further, the security firm suggests all connections to be performed by means of secure transfer protocols; implement SSL certificate checks by the client application; enhance extra checks to identify jailbroken devices; eliminate all debugging statements and symbols as well as development data from the production application.

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